Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Grammar schools

Owen Jones, writing in the Independent, once again attacks grammar schools:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/anachronistic-and-iniquitous-grammar-schools-area-blot-on-the-british-education-system-9013626.html

I think he misses the point that although grammar schools may have been a preserve of regional and county professionals (although that is not entirely proven - one 1950s report is very slight evidence) they brought the elite a lot closer to the working class than the present system of hyper-elitist public schools.

The children of doctors, teachers and local government officers may have been middle class, but they would have been familiar with the working class communities they lived among and served, which is why previous decades were more cohesive (more "one nation" if I can use a Disraelian Young England phrase).

With the abolition (largely) of grammar schools and the forced conscription of all state pupils into bog-standard comps that link was lost, and the public schools have swept the board of all professional, political and civil service positions - with the result that we now have an establishment elite that (through no fault of its own) has only a tenuous understanding of socio-economic classes C1, C2, D and E.

Grammar schools are vital to provide much-needed competition to the public schools.

For the record, I went to an appalling comp and left at 16 with almost no qualifications - it took me years to gain qualifications in the evenings while working full time.

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